Six Steps to take Including Ashwagandha for Insomnia! Learn about six steps you can implement today to end your insomnia and improve the quality of your sleep and health. Anxiety and sleep issues are two of the biggest problems in today’s stress-filled world. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that may be the answer to your sleep problems.
More and more people complain about not being able to sleep and feeling depressed and anxious about their lives now and in the future. I think all of us have been through it, either in the past or now. I have always had the problem since a child of having an overactive mind. When I was a child, my mom would make me go to bed early. I would wait until I heard her snoring, then get up and write stories.
As an adult, my mind is most active and clear late at night. That does not help you when you need to get up early the next morning. We have ducks and chickens to let out at 7 am who need to be fed. Many of my chores need to be done in the morning, so I need to sleep earlier.
Through the years, I tried Valerian, passionflower, and other herbs which seemed to work the opposite on me. They did not help me turn off my brain. Looking for another solution, I began researching the Ayurvedic herb, Ashwagandha and discovered its many benefits including helping with insomnia.
Ashwagandha along with the healing system that uses it was my answer. It has been amazing along with the other steps listed below that I now go to sleep within about a half hour. It used to be 3 hours before I finally would fall asleep.
I began taking the Ashwagandha first before doing the steps outlined below. That improved my ability to go to sleep within the first week, but it still wasn’t enough, so I started looking at the other elements of our bedroom. After doing some research on the subject, I then rearranged certain items in our room. Those simple things I outline solved the problem within a week. I hope this article helps your quality of sleep as it did mine.
Why take Ashwagandha for insomnia and not western herbs such as Valerian, Passion Flower, or Skullcap?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, a tonic that helps the whole body to work more effectively. It does so much more than just help you sleep or help with nerves. Western herbs such as Valerian work for some people but not for others, and I am one of them. These herbs to promote sleep seem to work the opposite on me. It is very individual. For me and others who have tried Western herbs for insomnia without success, Ashwagandha is amazing.
Some background facts and information on Ashwagandha.
It is an Ayurvedic herb that grows in India and North Africa with 6000 years of history behind its use. It is used by Ayurvedic doctors today in India and the world. It is now being utilized by some Western medicine doctors instead of addicting prescription drugs which have horrible side effects and are addictive. It is an ancient remedy. Its botanical name is withania somnifera. It is also known as Indian ginseng, winter cherry, and in Sanskrit means, “smell of the horse”. This refers to its unique smell and its reputation for giving one strength, relieving stress and anxiety, and increasing energy and overall mental concentration.
How do you use Ashwagandha? What health conditions do Ayurvedic doctors suggest it for? Learn about Ashwagandha for Insomnia and Anxiety
Ashwagandha is used for many health issues in Ayurvedic medicine by Ayurvedic physicians including depression, stress, anxiety, inflammation, tumor growth, cancer, high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high cortisol levels, and overall weakness. Taking this herb can increase thyroid hormone levels if you are mildly hypothyroid.
Anxiety takes a whole article or two to discuss but I found Ashwagandha worked very effectively for me when I suffered severe anxiety during my fathers-in-la’s last few weeks and after his death to help me deal with the grief, bills, and uncertainty of all of it. It is not addictive, nor do you feel hungover or tired the next day. It just helps you to cope with whatever stress and anxiety you are going through. I take it every day now because I tend to be high-strung and way too serious for my own good. I am one who worries more than I should as well. I have always been that way from a child. This has helped me more than any other herb I have tried. So, this is my personal view on this which is supported by 6000 years of use both in the past and present day.
I do want to state here, I don’t take any drugs nor have I ever for Anxiety so there was never any problem with drug-herb interactions. I do not have debilitating anxiety either as some do.
How to take Ashwagandha for insomnia after clearing it with your doctor.
- Ashwagandha can be taken in capsules, tablets, or in bulk powder form mixed in a drink called golden milk. Golden milk is milk that usually contains turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and honey. This is the way I use most of the Ayurvedic herbs I take. My husband takes them in capsules instead.
- Ashwagandha does not have to be taken every day, though it is more effective if you do. If you have anxiety, you will notice a calmer feeling which is nice. Things that are getting you overly upset, may not bother you as much. Your disposition may get less cranky and irritable. It evens you out gently. I have an overactive mind at night, and it turns that off so I can rest my brain.
- As an herbalist, I have tried a lot of formulations that did not work so finding Ashwagandha was wonderful for me.
- Herbs and how they work on you are individual. You are unique and your needs are unique.
- Your needed dose is individual and may depend on how you feel on a particular week. The degree of your insomnia or anxiety is also individual. You must pay attention to your body and how it reacts to things. Keep a diary of your reactions when starting a new herb or regimen. Make it detailed on your reactions and the results.
Watch a video on ashwagandha here given by a doctor which you will find quite interesting.
What’s in Ashwagandha that works on so many health issues? It’s a tonic herb that contains these health-enhancing properties below.
“Withaferin A and withanolide D are the two main withanolides that contribute to most of the biological actions of Withania (Matsuda et al. 2001; Sharma et al. 2011). The active ingredients of WS are alkaloids (isopelletierine, anaferine, cuscohygrine, anahygrine, etc.), steroidal lactones (withanolides and withaferins), and saponins (Mishra et al., 2000). Sitoindosides and acylsterylglucosides in Ashwagandha are antistress agents.
Active principles of Ashwagandha, for instance, sitoindosides VIIâ€“X and Withaferin A, have been shown to have significant anti-stress activity against acute models of experimental stress (Bhattacharya et al., 1987). The arial parts of WS yield 5-dehydroxy withanolide-R and withasomniferin-A (Rahman et al., 1991).” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/withanolide.
Precautions and Warnings: Important Note:
- Do not use this herb during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are on thyroid medication it could decrease the amount of medication you need.
- If you are on anxiety medication, cholesterol medication, depression medicine or diabetes medicine, it could reduce your need for these medications. You really have to be careful when taking herbs and medications together can cause real problems. Get your doctor’s approval first.
- Always take herbs at least 4 hours apart from medications after getting your doctor’s approval and supervision while doing this. If you are on chemo or radiation, I would get their permission to take any herbs, since many herbs and vitamins get in the way of the chemo treatment. Herbs can seriously impact the way your depression or anxiety medications affect you. Herbs do work and are potent! They need to be used with proper knowledge and research. Start with one capsule or the lowest dosage for a few days, then increase if needed. Herbs take time to work so give it a few days to see the results.
Seven Steps to take Including Ashwagandha for Insomnia and Anxiety
#1. Take 1-2 Ashwagandha two to three hours before you want to turn in for the night. Take calcium-magnesium along with the Ashwagandha. I have done just the ashwagandha and that works but the calcium-magnesium supplement is good for your bones and joints. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and tissues.
#2. Drink a hot cup of Golden Milk before bed. Simmer a large mug full of goat’s milk or organic milk mixed with 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 to 1- tsp ginger, 1-2 tsp of turmeric, and a pinch of black pepper (to help the herbs to work better), and honey.
You can add the contents of the Ashwagandha capsule to it as well. It depends on your taste buds. It doesn’t take long for it to be hot enough to drink. You can add a tsp of cacao to it as well. Add the honey after taking it off the stove. Mix well and remix while drinking it for the herbs tend to settle to the bottom. Add or decrease the amount of the herbs above to taste.
#3. Turn off your computer an hour or two before you go to bed. The blue light and what you are reading are not going to help you sleep. Read something offline that is easy to read and positive. Take that time and write in a gratitude journal or journal on what you accomplished today, even the small stuff. If you are religious, pray for others before you go to bed and release them to God. Listen to soft, relaxing music. Staying awake is not going to help those you love or yourself.
#4. Take your alarm clock and put it at least 6 feet away where you can’t see it easily. You would be surprised how much you tend to look at your alarm clock which stimulates your brain and thinking. I moved mine and it immediately helped me to sleep more quickly. Take your computer or IPad, turn it off, turn the WiFi off, turn the mobile data off, and place those away from your bed a few feet away. If you tend to be a light sleeper, this can really be a problem. When your sleep problems occur in the beginning when you first lay down, this is where these steps really do make a difference.
#6. Also, your electronic instruments give off radiation which is not good for you or sleeping. Don’t use your phone as an alarm for that reason. If possible do not keep your phone or electronics in your bedroom when you are ready to go to sleep.
#7. Make your room dark without any lights of any kind. We use light-blocking curtains in our bedroom.
8. Declutter your bedroom and dust the dressers off weekly. Add an air cleaner to your bedroom. Not only does it take in the dust but the white noise is useful. Ours has a little blue light, so we cover that up.
More links to investigate Ashwagandha and its benefits. Educational blue links are only below.
A caution about Web M.D. ! They will state on any herb that there is not enough double-blind research for them to support its benefits. Ashwagandha has been used for 6000 years and is still being used today in India. Frankly, I feel 6000 years of use treating real people for real illnesses is enough substantiation. There are numerous qualified published research studies to support its use and effectiveness out there. Our medical system of which WebMD is a part does not accept the research studies that are published by nations such as India, Russia, China, and other countries. That is a real travesty and is tainting your mind against natural medicine.
Each article also contains educational links and reference links to investigate the topic on your own. Thank you for your support.
Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin
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The views expressed on this website have not been approved by the AMA or FDA. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics including Ayurveda medicine, Ayurvedic herbs, adaptogen herbs, and herbal therapies.
It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
The material has not been reviewed or approved by the AMA or FDA. Do not begin an herbal program without consulting your doctor. Do not take herbs and medications together unless approved by your doctor. Herbs and medications can and do conflict. Some herbs can potentiate or nullify the effectiveness of the drugs you are taking. Do not go off your medications without supervision from your doctor. Herbs are one tool along with a nutritious diet that can benefit your path to wellness.